How to get consular assistance abroad in an emergency

FCO Travel Aware

When you travel abroad, for business or pleasure, it can give you peace of mind to know that you can call for help if you need it.

You can contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development  Office if you run into trouble while you are on holiday. Call them on 020 7008 5000 or email them at

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office can advise on the severity level of the terrorist threats so that you can decide for yourself if it is safe to travel. Our advice mirrors that of the FCDO.

Contact consular assistance if:

  • Your passport gets pinched and you need to apply for a new one. It'll cost you, but you might be able to claim it back on your insurance
  • If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a crime, you can get help for medical treatment if you have been injured or if you need a lawyer
  • Consular assistance can contact your travel insurance provider for you if you are admitted to hospital. Before you travel, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover potentially high medical bills. offers a range of affordable single trip and annual multi-trip policies
  • If you run out of money, Consular Assistance can show you how to transfer money over from the UK. Before you travel, be sure to budget carefully so that you don't run out of cash before the end of your trip
  • If you are arrested, Consular Assistance can point you in the direction of a suitable lawyer and translator if necessary, but they can't break you out of prison! Familiarise yourself with local laws and customs before you enter a country - in some places you could end up in prison just for kissing in public

Carry the Consular Assistance contact details with you when you travel. You never know when you might need to contact them.

Also, sign up to the FCDO's locate service so that it's easier to track you down when you are abroad.

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